Improve Training Effectiveness with Standardization


Evaluating training effectiveness is easier with some consistency.

Standardized learning and testing are debated topics in the academic world, but in the workplace, standardizing some of your training initiatives can help increase training effectiveness. Standardizing training simply means using the same training materials and methods across your organization’s teams and locations. In this article, we’ll discuss a few of the ways you can see benefits from standardized training programs, as well as a few areas where you’ll want to customize.

Why standardized training is more effective

Aside from onboarding new hires, training is often done on an “as-needed” basis and is led by whoever is available. When this happens, certain employees tend to be better informed and more well-trained than others. This can cause skill gaps, making it difficult to measure the effectiveness of your training. Standardizing your training methods can help alleviate these issues. Here’s why:

  1. Standardized training = standardized skillsStarting everyone off on the same foot can have a significant impact on your team’s performance. If all team members complete the same training assignments (respective to seniority level), then you can trust that any of them will be capable of using those skills to complete projects at the required proficiency level.
  2. Identify skill gaps earlyIf there are variations in proficiency within a team, standardized training will allow you to spot these gaps quickly. You’ll be able to easily tell which employees are struggling with the material and which are more advanced based on their training progress. From there, you can plan how to close the skill gaps and give each team member the attention they need.
  3. Reduces errors and improves retentionWith traditional training sessions, the instructor, location, training methods, and materials all can vary. Important information might be left out, scheduling conflicts could arise, and an unorganized set of materials can cause retention to falter. Standardizing your training will help employees all stay on the same page and ensure everyone gets the same, high-quality training experience.
  4. Easier to measureIt can be a challenge to measure training effectiveness. But when every team member is completing the same training assignments, it’s simple to see their progress and estimate the ROI of your training investments. It should be easy to link your training material to your team’s improvement. With an online learning platform, this is even easier! You can easily see your team’s training progress and assessment scores.
  5. Consistency across locationsIn today’s world, it’s not uncommon for an organization to have employees at multiple locations, which makes training an even more difficult task. Standardizing training across locations can help improve collaboration and consistency, on top of all the previous benefits we’ve discussed.

When to customize training

Standardizing training materials and methods can build a strong foundation for learning and improve training effectiveness at your organization, but customized training gives employees the individualized focus they need to succeed in specialized areas.

  1. Addressing skill gapsOnce you’ve identified your team’s skill gaps, you will need to determine how to customize further learning initiatives to close those gaps. This might mean assigning more beginner-level training or even training highly advanced employees to move on to other teams and projects.
  2. Highly specialized rolesOn some teams, employees might have highly specialized roles that require certain skills that aren’t necessary for other team members. If this is the case on your team, you should develop customized training programs for these team members and only use standardized training for general competencies and organization-wide internal processes.
  3. Achieving development goalsAfter your team is up to speed and skill gaps are addressed, encourage your team to use training to meet their personal career goals. Online learning platforms are once again an asset here, giving employees the ability to choose different courses that are essential for attaining their development goals.

Claire Juozitis
About the Author

SolidProfessor commercial content writer and unironic classic rock record collector